Supreme Court of California
152 P.3d 420 (2007)
Donald Sterling (plaintiff) sought to purchase three apartment buildings from the Santa Monica Collection partnership, of which Lawrence Taylor (defendant) was a general partner. On March 13, 2000, Sterling drafted a memorandum identifying the three apartment buildings and stating a price term of “approx. 10.468 X gross income[,] estimated income 1.600.000, Price $16,750.00.” The price term in the memorandum contained a clerical error and was intended by both parties to read $16,750,000.00. Only Sterling initialed the memorandum. On March 15, 2000, Sterling wrote a letter to Taylor discussing deposits he had made and discussing other aspects of the sale. The letter did not mention the price term. Both parties signed this letter. On April 4, 2000, Taylor sent Sterling formal purchase agreements indicating an aggregate price term of $16,750,000.00. Sterling refused to sign because, after reviewing the rent rolls, he had found that the actual rental income of the apartment buildings was $1,375,404.00, rather than the $1,600,000.00 estimated in the memorandum. Pursuant to the formula contained in the memorandum, Sterling multiplied the actual rental income by 10.468, resulting in a purchase price of $14,404,841.00. Taylor refused to lower the purchase price. In March 2001, Sterling sued for breach of contract. Taylor moved for summary judgment, claiming that the alleged contract violated the statute of frauds because the price term was too uncertain. The trial court granted summary judgment. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding that extrinsic evidence sufficiently clarified the price term. Taylor appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Corrigan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 236,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.